Sunday, 28 November 2010

Helvellyn – 27 Nov

With expectations of high clouds clearing out by lunchtime to leave bright blue skies we arrived at Dunmail Raise early enough to catch the first of the sunshine as it crept over the high ridges.

HR-001Helm Crag above Grasmere

The first climb up Seat Sandal suggested we were probably going to do less than we planned; the frozen turf was fine but the snow drifts, although usually not more than ankle deep, more progress more difficult and suggested descending might be entertaining.


HR-002South west from Seat Sandal with the Coniston Fells in the distance

The descent, by any route towards Helvellyn, from Fairfield would have been difficult so we turned north for Nethermost Pike and the Helvellyn ridge.


HR-003Fairfield to the left of Grisedale Tarn


HR-004North west from “The Post” below Nethermost Pike’s summit

Two more summits and we would reach Helvellyn but before we did, we found the weather hadn’t read the forecast and instead of the clearing out the cloud base was dropping and with it the temperature. Thick clouds were pouring on from the north east.


HR-005Pauline and the Trig Point on Helvellyn

By the col between Helvellyn Lower Man and Whiteside it was apparent we were unlikely to see any improvement in the visibility unless we were able to either stay below or get above the band of cloud forming on the ridge.

HR-006Thirlmere Reservoir appears through a break in the clouds.


HR-007Brown Cove Crags and the end of Thirlmere Reservoir 

Briefly we dropped off the ridge out of the clouds and below the worst of the wind and saw two skiers slaloming down the fellside below us. You may be able to see two ‘specs’ in the lower right hand corner of the above photo; the ‘specs’ are the two skiers, one of whom it turned out, is a friend we met skiing on Winter Hill on Christmas Day. With the best of the weather behind us we turned and headed south over Helvellyn and back, eventually, to Dunmail Raise.

HR-008Nethermost Pike summit rocks

HR-009South east from Nethermost Pike

HR-010Pauline about to descend from below “The Post” on Dollywagon Pike with Steel Fell beyond

HR-011Raise Beck


Google Earth Route: Download


  1. Awesome pictures and comments of the adventure.

  2. hi ian

    sunday was even better - a real blue sky day. I went up brown cove crags then down swirral and up striding only seeing one party on the edges in perfect conditions. i'll try to post my pics up. what a start to the winter!


  3. Hi John
    Be good to see what we missed on Sunday.

  4. Really like the 'magic' light on the first picture. Always worth the early start. Hope this cold snap continues :)

  5. Thanks kate, looks good for next weekend too :-)

  6. Great photos, Ian- in wonderful looking conditions!